When Baby Boomers fondly recall the Chevy Impala, they remember the cars from the 1950s and 1960s, ones wearing SS badges equipped with big engines and convertible tops. When Gen-Yers fondly recall the Chevy Impala, it is the 1994-1996 Impala SS they remember, a big car with cool wheels and Corvette power. I’m a Gen –Xer. There were no cool Impalas when I was an impressionable youngster, and while my father briefly owned a black ’96 SS, the Impala I best recall was a maroon 2006 LS model with 6-passenger seating that I rented during a weeklong vacation with in-laws in Hawaii.
Having spent some quality time with the redesigned 2014 Chevy Impala, I’ll say this much: it’s a far better car than that skanky rental, and I even like it more than Dad’s instant-classic ’96 SS. But can it compete with other modern flagship sedans from mainstream brands, like the Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, Ford Taurus, Hyundai Azera, Kia Cadenza, Nissan Maxima, Toyota Avalon, and Volkswagen Passat? That’s what I went to San Diego to find out.